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Forum - Parish News Dissenters' Meeting-house certifcates and registrations

  1. Published in October 2018, volume 32 in the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Record series on Dissenters' Meeting-house certificates and registrations for Bristol and Gloucestershire 1672-1852.

    This volume contains a detailed calendar of all the surviving certificates (or petitions) and registrations in Bristol diocesan records, Gloucestershire Quarter Sessions and Gloucester diocesan records, supplemented in a few instances with the 1852 returns to the Registrar General. It also contains summaries of the licences issued by Charles II in 1672 following his Declaration of Indulgence, which had been quickly countermanded by parliament. Appendices contain a list of the meetings licensed by the Quarter Sessions from 1689 to 1711, for which neither the original certificates nor registrations have survived, and the returns of dissenters in each parish made in 1825 to the bishop of Gloucester. The volume includes all the details available for the place of meeting, date, denomination, and names of those who signed the application, and while omitting the repetitive legal forms, gives the flavour of the style of each individual application. The material has been arranged by parish, with the exception of three places: Bristol, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, where the many small parishes and settlements suggested that a chronological sequence was more helpful. Places, subjects and a very large number of personal names are indexed. The Introduction discusses the coverage of surviving records and draws some conclusions. Dissent was important in a large number of parishes, and particularly in towns. The records suggest the early informality of dissenters’ religious meetings, often taking place in private houses, and the increase in formality with chapel building in the 19th century.

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  2. Thank you for this contribution from Anthea Jones. This work will be a valuable tool for anybody working on Bristol or Gloucestershire history or on the topic of dissent in the 17th to 19th centuries.

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